Steamboat Springs Hands off. It might as well be the sporting motto in Germany during July.
As the World Cup forges ahead, bringing soccer fans together from throughout the world, Steamboat Springs men Bruce Guettich and Peter Shunny are preparing to fly to Frankfurt for the 2006 World Footbag Championships.
Neither sport allows the use of hands.
German organizers for this year's World Footbag Championships bid for the event, hoping to promote both sports in the European country.
"In Germany, the sport has become really popular," Guettich said. "It's something we always have known would happen. European players are accustomed to using their feet."
Guettich and Shunny depart July 8 and will be in Germany in time for the July 9 World Cup championship game.
"We'll watch the finals in Germany with a bunch of Germans who, hopefully, will be cheering on their country," Guettich said.
This is the first time Ger--many has hosted the World Footbag Championships, but it is not the first time Guettich and Shunny have participated in them.
This year's tournament will be Guettich's 26th a--p--pearance. Shunny is eyeing his 22nd trip to the World Championships. The men will be partners in doubles footbag net.
Footbag net is a mix of tennis and volleyball, but players only use their feet. Players serve, pass and spike at amazing speeds. Guettich and Shunny have experience together, which helps, but the younger teams have an element of surprise.
Shunny said he has been watching Wimbledon, another international sporting event going on in Europe, to get ideas on scouting new opposition.
"Everybody has different techniques," Shunny said. "Just be able to work at your strengths, and exploit his weaknesses."
The World Championships run from July 16 to July 22 and can be followed at www.footbag.org.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org